Category: newsroom

How Google Fiber Reshaped Where Startups Do Business

The Triangle has become one of the strongest entrepreneurial tech hubs in the United States offering quality of life and a lower cost of living that Silicon Valley cannot compete with. Along with that has come a bevy of innovation and small companies able to compete on a global scale. It has also brought about a growth rate that some say will add an additional 1 million people to the Triangle by the end of 2018, which has both the locals and the infrastructure struggling to keep up with the demands.

Akin to our overburdened, jammed highways during rush hours, local company Dmorph Inc. found the infrastructure of the existing information superhighway couldn’t keep up with their growth. In July 2017, Dmorph Inc. moved their physical office location from the American Undergound in Durham to office space in neighboring Morrisville based exclusively on the availability of faster, more robust internet of Google Fiber. A new twist on the old adage: location, location, location.

This is a prime example of technology reshaping the way companies do business and in this case the way a tech company physically does business. Dmorph’s golden child and primary product is eSecureSend. eSecureSend is a large data transfer service that is bucking the 40 year norm of companies relying on unreliable FTP and curtailing the expensive, time consuming and environmentally harmful practice of shipping hard drives.

For the lay person, the large portion of large data transfer service referenced here is data that is 1000x past the max capacity of a free Dropbox account. This is a service for entities that are sending terabytes of data as a routine operating practice. It takes a lot to make those beautiful 4k movies and shows you’re enjoying. Primary customers include media entities, government entities and even medical entities. All of which means the data needs securely transferred at the speed of business.

While the invent and physical logistics of Google Fiber has come with some challenges, many of which have been reported in the Triangle, the product itself is solid. Like most startups, Dmorph started out by utilizing AWS and Google Cloud. Then came the point of business where the best financial and strategic move was to get off the cloud and come down to business owned servers. This point of a tech company’s growth is almost a modern day milestone for tech business success.

At this juncture the reduced costs paired with increased transfer speeds offered by Fiber restructured Dmorph’s balance sheet to where they could invest in the hardware needed to create their own servers. It trickles down to their customer base by allowing them to be more flexible in their pricing model without sacrificing service or security.

Dmorph had been presented the options to partner with a data center, however they would have continually faced data and/or bandwidth caps that would limit the performance of their accelerated file transfer service.

As company spokesperson Yasmeen Kashef put it, “We have big dreams to make file transfer secure, reliable and effective. Having access to high-speed internet, like Google Fiber is just the first step. And because Google Fiber exists, all the other telecoms are building their high-speed internet services too. We look forward to ever increasing high-speed internet.

“The other plus is that it’s helped us get together as a team more often. With our Durham office, half of our team members would have to drive about 40 minutes. Now that we’re in Morrisville, it’s a 15min drive for everyone. Even in the age of technology and at a tech firm, more face-to-face collaboration is a bonus.”

At the end of the day human interaction and location, location, location still reign supreme in business.

Bucking the Trend: One Woman’s Story of Flourishing in the Tech Industry

If you work in the tech industry or keep up on the latest news, you’ve heard the grumbles pertaining to women in the tech industry, or rather the lack of women in the tech industry.  Despite making up 56% of the total U.S. workforce when it comes to the tech industry women make up less than 30%. Yowza. It gets worse when you take a look at the percentage of women in high ranking positions in tech (such as CEO or upper management) or starting up tech companies.

Women bucking the norm and excelling in the tech industry often site dealing with dramatic income gaps, disproportionate advancement opportunities, sexual harassment and disrespect.  Basically all the stats and firsthand accounts make it sound like women working in the tech field are working a field of misogyny running wild. And that’s what makes the story of Dmorph Inc.’s Product Manager Yasmeen Kashef stand out like the hope diamond in a field of rocks.

Yasmeen works for Dmorph Inc., a tech company in Durham, North Carolina. Durham has become the tech hub of the South. This often overlooked city rightfully has Silicon Valley worried because it has all the tech offerings, opportunities and talent paired with quality of life and lower cost of living. Dmorph Inc. is a product of all that.  Their latest product, eSecureSend.com, has made them the premier large data transfer service available and all 3 male teammates thank Yasmeen Kashef for that success.

Needless to say when Yasmeen found herself at a conference specifically for women in tech earlier this year, which Dmorph’s CEO Jami Choudhury lined up and paid for her to, she was taken off guard by the horror stories of other women in her field. She had read all the stats, but to hear it in person, from women living and working in the same area was jarring.

We sat down for an interview in last month and she shared her unique experience as a woman in the tech industry, at a startup to boot. You don’t have to read too far to see that the best thing Dmorph ever did for business is put a woman in a key job role.

Sheila: Working at a start-up company is a choice.

Yasmeen: It is a choice. These are good people. I would not be here otherwise. When I first met Jami (Dmorph Inc. CEO) I was surprised. We were having an honest conversation about some of the work he wanted done. I gave him a price. And he said, “No, I’m willing to pay more because that’s the way it should be. This is what we’ll set it at.” It was from the moment I realized that he really cares about his people. Without that I wouldn’t be here.

Sheila: You’ve been with a company how long?

Yasmeen: I’ve been there since December 2015. Come this December it’ll be two years.

Sheila: You could probably go and work just about anywhere in the Durham area, and you choose the startup life. You’re making that active choice.

Yasmeen: Yeah, because I really believe in the team that’s building it. They value my input as an employee.  They’ve always said, “we trust where you’re coming from and we know that you’ve been interacting with the customers every day. We want you to take the lead on this and take it to the next level.

They trust in the feedback that I give them so that we can take this product to where it needs to go. That’s one of the best things about working with a group of people whether you’re at a start-up or anywhere else.

Sheila: You work in the American Underground.  You’ve seen how other startups are going. We have the big names in here like Google Fiber. As tech companies go what stands out the most about Dmorph in contrast to all of those other companies?

Yasmeen: I never realized how good I had it until I went to an event about women in Technology. Some of the things that these women were telling me about working with tech teams were things that I had never experienced. It ranged from sexual harassment to being devalued to not being taken seriously to not making an impact on the product itself.  We talked about all of those things. None of those exist with me on this team. And mind you, we’re talking about me being the first female among a group of six people and the youngest member on the staff as well.

Sheila: That’s really impressive. That says a lot about the company. You know a lot about the product. eSecureSend’s biggest challenge is getting customers to switch from something called FTP, which is archaic by any industry standard, let alone the tech industry’s. If there was a customer on the fence about switching from FTP, “We spent all this money, time and effort. We even have staff dedicated to that job.” What would you tell them is the first and foremost reason to give eSecureSend (eSS) a try?

Yasmeen: We’ll take care of you. I was impressed when Jami put it into the contract. He said we only want you paying us if you’re happy with our service. For anyone out there, when you come on board with us we want to make sure that the service is meeting the needs and the promise that we gave you. We want to make sure we meet that and if we don’t, we will do what you can to make it happen.

Just because you’ve already invested FTP, it doesn’t mean it goes to waste when you adopt a new tool. We can bring eSS and adapt it to your environment and help get you the most out of it.

Sheila: What do you mean ‘adapt to your environment?’

Yasmeen: When we talk about file transfer in general, everybody has a different set up – computers servers, different laptops. Some people have admin access and some people are meeting strict government regulations. Some people are at home on their laptops with lousy Wi-Fi. In this wide range of conditions we can take the core of eSS and say, ‘This is what you have and here’s how we can make it work better. We will get eSS up and running as effectively and even better than FTP. We will go that extra mile and make sure that our service is doing what we told you it can do.

Sheila: Have you had any customers that they are not satisfied?

Yasmeen: We’ve had many people tell us, ‘you know what, we don’t trust you.’ So we bring our other customers into the conversation. And it usually goes something like this, ‘these guys have gone way out of their way to help me. You should give them a chance.’ And once they give us a chance we always blow them out of the water.

Sheila: Maybe it’s too good to be true. Do you think that’s part of it?

Yasmeen: People just don’t like change. So it helps to tell them that change is okay.  We’ll prepare you. We’re not going to abandon you. We’re not going to leave you hanging.

Sheila: I think it’s also like when you adopt a new technology… “I was told it would be easy. I was told it was…” Most business owners, especially small business owners, thoughts regarding new technology are that if it goes wrong we know that we’re going to lose money trying to fix it. You’re paying for something that’s supposed to make your life easier and if it doesn’t and you’re going to lose money go back the to the way you were doing things.

Yasmeen: And who exactly is responsible for providing this product or service to people to buy? If I’m telling you, “hey I have this great thing you should come here and buy it.” And you decide to buy it. Why am I am leaving you out in the water to figure it out and fix it yourself? That’s not your job nor your responsibility, nor your expertise. That’s for us to do. We are the experts of our own product.

Sheila: Right. If it’s your vehicle, it’s not your job to fix a cracked engine head if that happens. It’s your job to get it to the garage. It’s not your job to do the work they do in there. Again that is something that is lost in technology and I think that’s where the company shines. It’s a customer driven company.

Yasmeen: Yeah. Absolutely.  The other part of what we do is the technical side of it. We’ve redesigned the engine and it becomes more awesome from the feedback that we get. We’re not video editors. We’re not drone mappers, nor lawyers who have to send drives to each other. We don’t have the experience of their expertise.

So for us to be in the middle of their workflow, we don’t know what that looks like until they come and tell us, ‘my life would be a lot easier if I was able to take this video I’m working on, press a couple of buttons, and say okay store it over here. Send it over there. Then send this version over to that person.’  Without that kind of feedback we wouldn’t be able to take the product to the next level. It’s not just about customer support. They’re the ones driving what the product is becoming. I don’t even know what it will look like in a year, two years based on their feedback.

Sheila: That’s exciting and that’s outside of the norm. When you’re integrating the variable of meeting the customer needs and you guys aren’t fearful of that. You know you’re going to be changing. You know you’re going to be evolving and that’s what you’re coming to work to do that. That is probably the new way of handling things.

Yasmeen: Yea, I think it was Seth Godin who said if you’re not pivoting, you’re slowly dying…

Sheila: Yeah and he also talked about ‘just ship it’ and you guys have continually shipped and then work with the feedback that you would haven’t gotten if you didn’t ship.

Yasmeen: Exactly.

Yasmeen came onto the Dmorph team as a contract employee and because of her skillset was brought on as a full time staff member.  Her age and gender were never factored into the equation, let alone her wages.  Dmorph Inc. hired her and pays her based on the value she brings to the company day in and day out. As you can see she knows this product and believes in the company’s success. Time for the big boys in tech to act like adult humans and listen up.

Record Breaking File Transfer

Today, eSecureSend is excited to announce that we’ve surprised even ourselves with a lightning fast, uninterrupted, and secure transfer of an enormous 616GB file at speeds of up to 800MB/s, taking only 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 57 seconds!

 

When it comes to transferring large files online, there are several factors that determine your upload and download speeds. Even if your office is equipped with a state-of-the-art, fiber optic connection, your client’s business might run on residential wifi. If the file you’re sending is hundreds of GBs like this one, you could be waiting for a while.

 

But there is one factor you actually have a choice in: how you transfer those files.

 

FTP, for better or worse, is the industry standard. But since it is built on tech developed in 1971, it’s worse more often than not. With slow speeds and connection interruptions, you have to split up larger files and babysit transfers to ensure anything even went through. FTP is also very vulnerable — as evidenced by the recent ransomeware attack on one of Netflix’s production houses.

 

Cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive, even their premium versions, will throttle speeds and limit file size — at times down to 20GBs. File transfer services like Aspera or Signiant only provide a discrete chunk of their bandwidth that their customers have to figure out how to divvy up.

 

eSecureSend is proud to offer a better solution: easy, reliable, and secure transfer built with today’s business in mind. No interruptions, no throttling, no security worries, and no need to split the file.

 

That same 616GB file took 11 days to upload over residential wifi with a 5MB/s upload speed — not a connection you’d want for a business dealing in large files. But even over connections like this — be it hotel wifi while you’re traveling or the home networks of your clients — eSecureSend’s auto-download and auto-resume functionalities make sure the transfer is safely completed as fast as it can.

 

You have choice in file transfer service. Connect with eSecureSend today and see how we can simplify and accelerate your file transfer logistics. Don’t spend another second babysitting your FTP!

Tips On How Americans Can Protect Their Private Data Irrespective Of Changing Political Rules

Well, it happened.  As of April 3rd, 2017 the FCC Internet Privacy Rule intended to protect consumers from their personal information being sold was repealed when President Donald Trump signed off on the repeal that had passed both Senate and Congress.

For a complete list of the 265 state representatives who voted for the repeal, as well as the amount of money they received from telecommunications companies as donations click HERE.

This was met with severe ire and backlash from the American people, because consumers rightfully value their privacy.  Actor Misha Collins began raising funds with the ambitious goal of buying every representative’s browser history for the tune of $500,000,000. Cards Against Humanity designer Mark Temkin stated he would purchase the browsing histories himself with no need to crowdfund the effort.  Both have garnered a lot of attention and thus far 4 crowd funding efforts have raised more than $200,000.  With the President’s ink still drying on the repeal, it will be interesting to see the follow through on this.

It doesn’t take a lot of news these days to become shocked, downhearted, frustrated, angry and/or completely bamboozled.  This is all on top of the March 28th, 2017 news that the US Congress voted to repeal the Obama Era FCC Internet Privacy Rule. This repeal passed by the Senate on March 23rd, 2017. Did you catch that with so much going on in the news?

What does the repeal of the FCC Internet Privacy Rule mean?

The repeal would make it legal for internet providers to sell your browsing history without your permission.  This same FCC Internet Privacy Rule the House of Representatives voted to repeal also required internet providers (think Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner and Verizon) to protect your data from hackers and inform you of any breaches.

It’s important to differentiate between internet providers, search engines and websites.  The best metaphor out there is that internet providers are like roadways and search engines and websites are akin to stores along those highways.  You have to take the road to go to the store.  So even though Google is, well Google, they too depend on the roadways of internet service providers.

Let’s back up to the initial FCC Internet Privacy Rule, which was passed just back on October 27, 2016 – not that long ago.  The biggest thing to remember is that this rule NEVER went into effect.  It passed in October of last year, well before the shock of November 8th, and was set to go into effect early this year, however it never actually did.  Meaning our privacy has always been up for sale.

The new rule would have required internet providers to get your explicit permission before they shared information like your browsing history, location, app usage and even the content of your emails. Social security numbers, financial information, medical information and any information pertaining to children would also be secured by this FCC Privacy Rule.  Any information outside of those categories could still be shared by internet providers unless the consumer actively opts out.

Providers would be required to inform consumers of any information that they are collecting and update them of any changes. None of that had been protected until the privacy act was passed.  That means that internet providers have been able to share and sell of that information all along.

These rules also include the vague requirement that internet providers “take reasonable measures” to secure consumers’ sensitive data.  While reasonable measures remained unspecified, it was specified that if there was a breach, the providers have 30 days to notify the consumer.

The rules were going to be put into place to prevent internet providers from forcing consumers to opt into agreements where they share their information and prevent the providers from withholding service from consumers who refuse to opt in.  However, the rule did seem a bit like they providers could still charge more for their services for a refusal to opt in and didn’t provide any clear governance in the matter.  Sound a little bit like preventing mafia behavior?

The FCC plan of action was to review any instances of what could basically be termed ‘privacy fees’ on a case by case basis.  With a reported 88.5% of Americans, or 286,942,362 people, using the internet in 2016, a case by case basis seems a bit unrealistic.

Even without consumer permission, internet providers under this ruling would have been able to share information ‘anonymously.’  This ruling allowed internet providers to share consumer information without consumer permission so long as the information is made anonymous by the provider “so that it can’t be reasonably linked to a specific individual or device.”  The theory behind this is that your data could still be sold, but not linked to your device.

Another key point of interest is that this all happened due to something called the Congressional  Review Act.  The Congressional Review Act allows congress to strike down any recently passed rules by federal agencies to block FCC action.  A big concern with repealing the act, as opposed to improving it for the sake of the consumer not the corporations, is that it prevents a comparable/improved act from being implemented in the future.  Striking privacy acts out of the realm of possibility in the future. Another lesson in the political science crash course America is cumulatively taking at the school of hard knocks.

To say that the bill left a lot to be desired is an understatement, however what’s more concerning is that none of this was in place at all to begin with and consumers have been going about their online business.  All of which means, at this time it’s up to the American consumer to actively protect their privacy.

Protect your private data

Paul Linebaugh, Head of Digital Infrastructure Systems at eSecureSend.com, a secure, large data transfer firm in Durham, North Carolina gives expert insight on how the American consumer can protect their privacy.

  • Browse websites with secured connections.  Use URLs with “https://” at the beginning and look for the lock symbol on your web browser.  If you are typing in a URL by hand, start with the “https://” and bookmark URLs with it also.
  • If you use public access (like a coffee shop) then use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to secure your traffic so other patrons can’t sniff it or redirect it.  You’ll need a VPN server setup to connect to.
  • Use a password manager to create/edit/manager your passwords.
  • Configure applications to use a secure connection when possible.  Email clients would be one of the most popular that needs to use a secured connection.  For most apps you don’t really have the control to do it, the developers need to do it. This means actively looking at each of your apps to see the privacy settings and security information.
  • In addition to using a secured connection with email, you can also use Pretty Good Privacy Encryption Program. That’s seriously what it’s called, but don’t underestimate the value of a PGP, such as GnuPG to sign and encrypt emails to others.  This can be tricky, but not impossible, because the people you send the emails to also need to configure it on their end.
  • If you can, use two-factor authentication. That would be good, especially for critical or high-value accounts.  PayPal, banking accounts, and gaming accounts would be some types of accounts that could be high-value to bad people.
  • Make your email account(s) as secure as you can.  Use a long password and an encrypted connection for access.  If someone can get into your email account then they can get into a lot of your other accounts by resetting your password on those accounts and intercepting the email.
  • Encrypt your hard drives – this isn’t really an online thing, but can be related since your online passwords are probably on your laptop/desktop somewhere.
  • If you use an open wireless network or a wireless network with a known passphrase (default usually) then after you are done remove that connection from your list of known networks.  There are tools out there that allow people to pretend to be those wireless networks and reroute your traffic.
  • Don’t install anything unless it is from a known source.  Go directly to the website that hosts the program that you want to install and download it.
  • For the sites that ask for things like “mothers maiden name”, consider making something up, keep track of it, and if another site asks for the same thing make something else up.  If one site is compromised that has that information then a bad person can use it to get into your account on other sites if they have the same questions with your same answers.

The Takeaway

All of that may seem like a lot to take in on top of the fact 265 people voted to represent the American people just sold us out to corporate donors. The internet is an incredible tool that has completely transformed the way we work and live.  Make it work for you by using the above privacy measures and send an email, via a secure route option of course, to your representative letting them know how you feel and reminding them when the next upcoming election is.

The better file transfer solution for a television news station

Recently, one of our potential clients (a local TV station) approached us with the challenge of improving their file transfer workflow. They wanted to receive news footage in a timely and efficient manner. After a discovery meeting, we found out that they were relying heavily on FTP through a cellular network. These two are a deadly mix. FTP is not resilient to intermittent data connections and cellular networks are loaded with intermittent data connections.

Transferring files between 150MB to 500MB while driving around in a news truck over FTP is less than ideal. We all know the common issues with FTP transfers. Instead of rehashing, let’s just say it doesn’t work. And cellular coverage is not everywhere, as much as telephone companies like to claim.

In this client’s case, thirty minutes before the content goes live, editors are calling reporters saying that the videos they sent were corrupted or incomplete and needed to be resent. Reporters who are in the middle of working on the next story have to stop what they’re doing and resend the file. Both reporters and editors are stressed because with 5 minutes to go, neither side knows if the files will be transferred successfully.

With or without the content, the show must go on. If the file transfer fails, the work that the reporters put in doesn’t even make it to the live broadcast. This was the daily reality for our client.

Our client finds the ‘relief’ with eSecureSend

When a reporter starts a file transfer, it should just work. It should also work fast. By leveraging the reliability and speed of BitTorrent architecture (see who else is using BitTorrent), eSecureSend creates an enclosed and highly-secured ecosystem for resilient, high-speed file transfer.

Our client no longer has editors calling reporters to restart file transfers. With auto-resume features, eSecureSend is resilient to intermittent internet connections. The file transfer just keeps going until it is done. When it finishes the transfer both reporters and editors get an email notification. They no longer live in suspense!

Whether sending media content a few miles away or across the globe, a reliable online file transfer platform is an essential utility for any station. TV stations that rely on eSecureSend to reduce inefficiencies in their media workflow meet deadlines while providing the great quality programming that a station’s audience demands.

New Feature: Automatic Retrieval of Files, a.k.a Auto-Receive

For any B2B relationship, file transfers should be as smooth as spreading melted butter on toast. With auto-receive we’re one step closer towards achieving that goal. Recipients can now automatically receive any file that senders deliver. No more clicking “Accept” and “Download.” They just show up on the subscribed computer as soon as the transfer is complete. 

As a sender, power through file transfers to multiple recipients: If you’re regularly sending the same files to multiple people, channels allow you to establish the fastest connection possible between you and clients. When you finish sending a file to a channel, subscribers begin downloading the file without the click of a button. As soon as the file is delivered, you’ll be notified via email. The initial setup takes about 5 minutes for both parties.

As a recipient, automate your incoming file transfer workflow: Instead of babysitting file transfers, channels allows your team to spend more time working on things that actually matter. As soon as the file is ready for you, an email notification will be delivered.

Auto-Receive is made up of channels and subscribed devices

Group members can subscribe to a channel so that their devices (a computer or mapped network drive) automatically download any files that are sent to that channel. There is no limit to the number of channels or subscribers to a channel within a group. 

Setting up channels:

  1. Create a channel.
  2. Ask desired group members to subscribe their devices.
  3. Group members subscribe their devices and set up their default download locations.
  4. Sender sends a file to the channel by selecting channel instead of “To” recipients.
  5. File shows up on subscriber’s device.
  6. Email notification is sent to both sender and recipients.

Creating a channel:

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Ask desired group members to subscribe their devices:

Once a channel is created, anyone in the group can subscribe to automatically receive files that are sent to that channel. As a group owner or admin, you’ll be able see who is subscribed and have the ability to cancel their subscriptions. As of right now, you’ll have to contact group members outside of eSecureSend and request that they log into the website and subscribe to the channel. We’re working towards creating one-click button for notifying group members.

Group members subscribe their devices and set up their default download locations:

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To set up default download locations, follow the step-by-step guide by clicking here.

Once you’re all set it up, communicate with group members so that everyone knows that they can start sending to your devices.

Senders start sending:

Anyone within the group can send a file to the channel.

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Sit back and relax because the file will automatically show up on subscribed devices.

Once the transfer is complete, both senders and recipients will be notified that the file transfer was a success.

Questions you might have:

Who can create channels?
Group Owners and Admins only.

Who can subscribe to a channel within a group?
Anyone.

Who can see who is subscribed to a channel?
Group Owners and Admins. They can also unsubscribe members’ devices from a channel.

Do file transfers autoresume?
Yes, of course.

Can you check the progress of any file that is being automatically received?
Yes, they’re located in the status notification where manual transfer statuses appear.

If the desktop agent is offline, will it still auto-receive?
Within a 10-day window, yes. The agent will know that it has a file waiting to be auto-received. As soon as it’s back up and running, it will still auto-recieve. This does not affect sending of a transfer.

Transfer HUGE encrypted files – Tech Company Announces Launch

Dmorph, a technology startup, announces the launch of their new product eSecureSend. Revolutionizing the market in file transferring, eSecureSend provides everyone with the opportunity to have an on demand (SaaS) file transferring option. eSecureSend is affordable, effective and ready to meet each users budget and needs. Boasting much higher transfer capacity than Dropbox, Box.com and the likes. eSecureSend delivers files faster, and with security other companies just can’t match.

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